Saturday, 26 January 2013

One Shot at Jack Reacher

I think I'm as willing as the next person to willfully suspend disbelief when it comes to literature and the arts, but  I've decided to draw my line in the sand with the casting of Tom Cruise as Lee Childs' protagonist, Jack Reacher.

I like Tom Cruise and bear him no malice. After all, he was the unabashed hero of Top Gun, a movie I still like to watch, and it's hard to picture anyone else with that swagger and great s**t-eating grin.  But fans of Lee Childs' novels know that Reacher is a larger-than-life character who is 6'6” * (not to mention a blond) while Cruise at 5'7” is shorter than his previous two wives (Nicole Kidman is 5'10” and Katie Holmes is 5'9”).

So, being fond of research, I decided to have some fun and see what I could come up with through the wonders of the Internet.  Here's what I found out.  Many of the old-time leading men, adventurers, and dare-doers were well within Reacher's height.  These include John Wayne (6'4.5”), Rock Hudson (6'4'), James Stewart (6'3.5”), Gary Cooper and Gregory Peck (6'3”), Errol Flynn (6'2”),  and Cary Grant and Burt Lancaster (6'1”), just to name a few.  The closest contenders today would be Nicholas Cage, Christian Bale, and Leonardo DiCaprio, all at 6 feet.  (I should hasten to add that none of these actors would probably have been good casting for Jack Reacher.)  Brad Pitt and George Clooney are both 5'11”, while Robert Downey Jr. is 5'9”.

By the way, my own personal favorite for the role of Jack Reacher would have been Jim Caviezel (6'2”), who plays Reese on the CBS television series Person of Interest.

The first Jack Reacher movie, based on One Shot, has grossed $150 million thus far.  For a sequel to be considered, it would probably need to gross at least $250 million (according to industry insiders). Meanwhile, Cruise has bought the rights to all seventeen Jack Reacher novels (groan).  So we'll have to wait and see if Cruise will spin a franchise out of it.

* For those, unlike me, who prefer metric measurements, 6 feet equals 1.8288 meters.

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